2020 Comic Artists Survey

The 2020 COMIC ARTIST SURVEY is closed. Thank you to all participants and to everyone who helped me with outreach!

As some of you who are close to me know, I am currently enrolled at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State University. To make a long story short, in addition to my career as a comics creator, I have spent many years working administrative positions at nonprofit organizations (NPOs) and I want to take the next step in actively improving my community: Not only my geographical community of Columbus, Ohio, but also my chosen community of comic artists.

As a nontraditional student (I'm 49 going for a Bachelor's.) I'll need to hit the ground running once I graduate. I have more responsibilities like a mortgage and less time to achieve my goals than most of my fellow graduates!

To that end I am conducting some independent research on comic arts stakeholders and their relationship with NPOs now so that I may be as well informed and prepared as any other professional in the field. I want to know what the comic artist identity looks like, what barriers comic artists see to their own success and maybe most important of all, how they expect organizations acting on their behalf to behave. The survey is meant to be an icebreaker in the start of a long discussion discussion along these lines.

NOTE: Surveyed ended June 30, 2020


Why should I take a survey where I can't see all of the questions in advance?

The survey has been divided into sections to separate ideas and areas of discussion. The opening page requires answers to all questions for purposes of maintaining control over the results, although all subsequent questions are optional.

Page 1: The Basics

1. Name

2. Email Address 3. Do you want to be sent the results of this survey? 4. May I use your email to contact you for further research?

Page 2: Your comic artist identity 5. What are your sources of income?

6.What year did your comic career begin?

7. How many hours a week do you work on comics?

8. Is your day job comics related?

9. Do you identify as a member of a community that is frequently and/or historically the victim of discrimination and bias?

Page 3: Your expectations of nonprofit organizations (NPOs) 10. What types of activities would you like to see NPOs take part in to address the problems facing comic artists?

11. What functions do you wish to see comic arts NPOs performing to address problems facing the comic arts community?

12. What values would you expect to guide a comic arts NPO?

What is an NPO? NPO stands for nonprofit organization. Generally speaking nonprofit organizations in the United States are organizations that exist to address the market and government failures that create social and cultural problems. In exchange for working towards the public good, these organizations are granted special tax status and privileges as well as constraints on their activities to maintain that status.

What do you plan to do with this information? Results of the survey will be published, most likely on SOLRAD as a follow up article on a smaller survey I conducted with vendors at my Indie Comics fair earlier in the year.

All results will be published in such a way as to preserve anonymity of the respondents. Neither SOLRAD nor any other NPO will have access to individual respondents names, answers or information.

In a larger and ongoing sense, I will use this information to help guide my work as an activist, advocate, and benefactor of the comic artist community. All social and cultural problems must be properly framed through research before solutions can be proposed or implemented. This survey is a first step in defining those problems and finding solutions.

I'm not sure that I qualify as a comic artist? Does this survey apply to me?

Long answer short: There is no set definition for what a comic artist is, so it's up to you. I would recommend this bar, regardless of your current activity, can you tell "the story of you" without mentioning that you have written/drawn/contributed to comics and/or cartoons? If creating comics is, has been, or will be integral to telling your personal story, then you should consider yourself a comic artist and I would love your input on this survey

Do you plan on surveying comic arts NPOs for their perspective?

Yes. This survey, among other things, is a first step in stakeholder analysis. Stakeholder analysis is the process of identifying the individuals and groups affected by particular issue or set of issues. Philosophically it is important to me to communicate first with the stakeholders most directly impacted by the issues at hand and then to move on to the organizations that are working to address those issues. So, I will start communication with those in need and then advance communication to those empowered to address those needs. My next target group of stakeholders will be the community consuming comic arts as a group of beneficiaries of NPO work and then move on to empowered stakeholders such as publishers, retailers, academics and NPOs.

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